Our church held a special service yesterday for my father. The church I attend, where my brother, Steve, is the pastor, is also the church that ordained my dad 25 years ago. I thought for the Monday Missions post this week it would be appropiate to give a brief biography of my parents.
Dad was not always known as 'dad'. He was born Garry Stephen Weaver to Frank and Hazel Weaver. Frank (my grandfather) is also a Baptist preacher. My dad was raised in a preacher's home.
Mom was not always known as 'mom'. She was born Zelpha Janette Pierce to Dolphard and Dorothy Pierce. At age twelve her mother died and came to live with her aunt and uncle, Mary and Clyde Price, in Lenoir City.
My parents met at a church where my grandfather pastored. Later, they attended High School together. Eventually they married and bore one handsome son (me), and an older son (my brother). Even though they had both grown up in church, and, in my father's case, a preacher's home, they were not saved. After a couple of years, they decided to get back in church and 'turn over a new leaf', but, in my father's words, "Got their whole yard raked."
In September of 1978, they attended a Sunday School class, where the pastor was teaching. In the course of the class a dispute began between 'premillinialism' and 'postmillenialism'. As the time for the class to end drew near, the pastor, Bob Blankenship, told the class, "One thing is for sure. Christ is coming again, and if you're not ready and have loved ones who are, then you'd better go ahead and tell them goodbye."
My dad didn't hear another word the entire service. As soon as the invitation was given, he went forward to pray. After a while the Pastor sent everyone else home and then later told my dad to go home. He told my dad, "Son, I'd rather you leave here today knowing you're lost, than to leave thinking you're saved."
The rest of this testimony I will tell in my father's own words.
"I went home up to the back bedroom and continued to pray. I had heard others tell about the 'heavens opening' and 'angels descending' at their conversion experience. After praying for hours for a 'sign' to let me know I was saved, I finally gave up. I said, 'Lord, I've asked you for a sign, and haven't seen a thing. The only thing I know to do now is just trust you.' And then it hit me. That was it!"
In December of the same year he surrendered to the call to preach. Then in 1980 he was Ordained for Gospel Ministry by West Broadway Baptist Church.
After pastoring shortly, he felt the call to start a church in nearby Concord. After pastoring this church for two years we left to serve as missionaries in Monterrey, Mexico.
We then moved to Florida where he pastored another church, Way of Life Baptist Church.
He then left Florida to go to pastor church in Rossville, Georgia, Gethsemane Baptist Church. While in Georgia he became convinced of the 'Doctrines of Grace'. It was also about this same time that he became convinced of the Expository method of preaching as true preaching. After pastoring in Georgia we returned to Mexico. This time we went deeper south into the State of Vera Cruz. After readjusting to missionary life as he worked with other missionaries for a year, he moved away into a city, Santiago Tuxtla, that had not been previously reached with the Gospel. This city was not very receptive to the message. But it became the base for other missions that were growing in the region.
It was in Santiago Tuxtla that I met my wife, Magaly Beltran Naranjo, now Magaly Weaver. Magaly is one of the converts as a result of my father's labors in Santiago Tuxtla.
After working in Mexico for seven years his health prevented him from continuing there. He contracted a new virus it seemed every month, and the doctor was usually at our house taking care of him.
He returned to the States in 1996, and in 1998, received a call to return to the church in Florida that he had previously pastored. Since then he has been preaching and pastoring at Way of Life Baptist Church in Titusville, Florida.
God has truly blessed me with a heritage of faithfulness. I pray that I do not trample on it and that God continues to allow me to walk in the footsteps of this man of God.
Soli Deo Gloria.